Gerson came from Germany as a young man and worked in stores (not unlike his future son-in-law, Morris). He later brought his widowed mother over. Gerson was considered very handsome, as well as a good family man.
Though never wealthy, one son, Isaac, became a member of the Jewish Harmonic Club.
From Annie Jacobs:
According to one story, Gerson Friedenheit was an only son. His father, who sold cattle, died when Gerson was an infant. Gerson's mother appears in a photograph with Gerson and ten of his children. When Gerson arrived in U.S.A., about 1845, he was asked by immigration authorities to state his surname. In Europe surnames were not used. Gerson replied, "Es ist mir zu frieden." (loose translation, it's all the same to me. Note that "frieden" mean peace, or I'd be at peace with any name). Friedenheit, state of being at peace. Gerson brought his mother to the United States. She died in 1888, and lived with Gerson until her death. Gerson became a United States citizen in 1857. In 1865 he moved to N.Y.C. from St. Joseph, MO. Gerson had an aolder brother. Gerson and Fannie were married in Cincinnati on February 16, 1859. It was teh second marriage in teh reformed temple performed by Rabbi Wise. They moved to St. Joseph in a covered wagon. Their four oldest children were born in St. Joseph and the youngest ten at 23 West 96th St., N.Y.C.
"Married Sixty Years." The New York Herald, February 18, 1919.
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Gerson by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA.
However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line.
It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Gerson: